Kami Huyse tagged me in her Thanksgiving meme: "Who had a big influence on you and how did that affect the direction of your life or career?"
Like some of my fellow "taggees," a few of the major influences on my career weren’t terribly positive. Rather, it was my response to a negative or messy situation that moved me forward or helped me make an important decision.
Let’s get these out of the way first, shall we. No names. If you are reading this and think it might be you, it probably is.
Thanks to the editor in my first job out of college who told me I couldn’t write. Gave me the kick in the pants to evaluate what I really wanted to do. I got a new job and embarked on a career in marketing. And here I am writing. Nearly every day. Hmmm.
Thanks to the various managers in various corporate jobs who suffered from varying degrees of sexism and found it hard to promote me to the next level. No matter how good the performance or results. Especially the one who hired a super-duper idiot to take over a job I had been doing for years. Each and every time, I moved on to something better.
Now for the positive influences.
First and foremost my family, and most especially my mom Sandra Getgood. From her, I learned that there was nothing I couldn’t do if I set my mind to it.
I had lots of wonderful teachers in high school, college and my MBA program, but three stand out: Jean St. Pierre (Andover), Jill Morawski (Wesleyan) and Cornelia Eschborn (Rivier).
Thanks to all the printers, advertising, marketing and PR folk who shared their expertise with me as I learned on the job, especially in the early years of my career.
Thanks to everyone who has ever worked for me for the privilege of working with you, learning from you and hopefully teaching you a few things as well.
Thanks to Gene Mehr, now a client, who years ago recognized that I had some talent and treated me like an equal when I was just a twenty-something who thought she knew more than she did. I still have the four-star "marketing general" helmet.
Thanks to Scott Murray, former CFO at The Learning Company, for re-assigning me to the Cyber Patrol unit in January 1999. And thanks to Greg Bestick, who worked with me to sell the Cyber Patrol business in 2000 for nearly 10x what TLC had paid for it in 1997. Managing the business unit and my involvement in the whole sales process, from road show to due diligence, was one of the highlights of my career. Maybe I’ll do it again someday.
And finally, thanks to you, the readers of Marketing Roadmaps, for reading, for commenting, for making me part of your online conversation. You inspire me to be better.
David Wescott writes about campaigning for Steven Tolman for state rep nearly 20 years ago and how that influenced the way he approaches his work.
Julie Marsh says she "learned the most from those who played the part of supporters when
times were good, but were nowhere to be found when times were bad."
Katie Paine, back from Thanksgiving in Islamabad, writes about how she became a "genetically unemployable serial entrepreneur."
Kelly (Mocha Momma) tells us what led her down the path to becoming a high school dean.
Christina (A Mommy Story) tells about women who have been positive role models for her: her aunts, mother and grandmother.